Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Santa Template

Santa Template for Pagan Worship

I just had to re-blog this for Christmas Day . . . Aaron Leitch makes a terrific point in this essay and one that I think more folks who are trying to work with the old gods should be hark ending too.

Again, Happy Holidays to all and look forward to speaking with you all in the New Year.

Season’s Greetings

Whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of the year (or even if you do not celebrate at all), I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone all the best in this holiday season.

As this year comes to an end and we enter the mysterious time between the years, consider what it is that you want to release going into the New Year and what you would like to keep, what you would transmute in your life and what you would like to manifest. Spend some time, in this, the most silent time of the year, looking into that silence and allowing it to speak to you in a profound and magical way. I know that this is a time of family activity and sometimes stress but do try to take some time out for yourselves to see your way into a new cycle.

As the Dineh (Navajo) say, may you walk in beauty as the turning of the year approaches and may beauty go before and behind you as you walk your Way.

May this year be a year of peace and plenty for you and yours
May you realize that truly, sometimes, the joy is in the seeking
May your heart be open to realization with each new experience
May child-like joy and wonder stalk you at every turn
May the spirits of your choosing gather round you at this great crossroad
May the people of your choosing complete that great circle
And may you know blessings without limit as the gateway opens into another year.

Celebrate, my friends, no matter what your beliefs.

I am taking a little break and will talk to you in the New Year (07 January or thereabouts).


Psychic Backlash: Considerations

I could not help but notice this interesting article by Nick Redfern on the Mysterious Universe website. Let’s begin with a quote from the article that sums things up:

Sometimes, when a person becomes immersed in an investigation to a very deep and significant degree, the phenomenon under the microscope appears to realize that it is being watched and responds in violent, and sometimes even deadly, fashion.

It says something about our modern day indoctrination into materialism and scientism when people make statements like this. Since the paranormal world is not a world that can easily be placed under a microscope and examined, since it can not be taken apart and broken into its constituent elements, since it consistently operates in a way that confuses we modern humans and often seems to refuse to respond to the laws of Newtonian physics, humankind is forced to draw back from it and use one of its great defense mechanisms – turning the blind eye (also known as ‘if I ignore you; you aren’t there’).

There will always, though, be those folks who are curious. People like myself who are fascinated by the unseen and/or the strange, people whose imagination is fired by the idea that there might be forms of life out there that we do not yet fully understand, people who are willing to set aside the religion of materialistic scientism for moment and see what native peoples and folklore and (gasp) magical texts have to say about a world that most people do not see. Some of these people go on, take the plunge and enter into the magical world. Others are not quite able to do that but, with varying degrees of open mind, continue to investigate. Some of the investigators actually end up out in the field, trying to look directly at the things that most people try to ignore and often do ignore with great success.

As someone who lives in a world where spirits of all kinds are just as real as the consensual reality that most people agree to, I confess to giggling when I read an article like this. I know that I should not but really . . . you stuck your nose into a serious paranormal occurrence and something happened! Shocking!! Just because something does not register on the K2 meter or refuses to come out and play even though you leave bait behind for it, does not mean that it does not exist and it can not effect this reality.

I have, of late, been doing some serious evocation work (I may write about it at some point if the being I am working with is amenable) and I have seen some things happen in my life that I can only attribute to the workings of that being. Granted, much of what has gone on has been serious internal change for me and a process of realization that was triggered by this work but I have also seen some serious, “real world” changes happening around me. While the people in the article complained of psychic backlash, I have seen things take a definitive turn for the better as the result of my interaction with this Otherworld being.

If, however, I had been fool enough to go and jam a stick into a hornet’s nest of negative activity, then I would not have been surprised at all had I gotten stung, not once, but repeatedly. I know that I sound like a one note choir sometimes, but I can not stress enough the benefit of having someone on every investigation team (or at least available to the solo practitioner for consult) who knows the ins and outs of the Otherworld. Stop for a moment and think what happens if you lock eyes with another person who does not know you. At the very least, you are going to make that person uncomfortable. If that individual has an aggressive bent, then they might just see your staring as a challenge. If this is true of every day human beings, why would it not be true of beings who live in another world and who seem to play by very different rules from ours (at times). You might not get punched in the jaw but a being of the Otherworld, even one of limited power, can certainly manipulate energies so as to make you uncomfortable or worse.

I support people who investigate these mysteries. I understand the intellectual curiosity that provokes people to dig into these areas, to try to see what it is that people are reporting first hand. I also know that dealing with Otherworld beings can be extraordinarily beneficial but the investigator, whether he or she likes it or not, has to follow the same rules as the successful evocator. The evocator spends time and effort coming to a good knowledge of the being that they seek to evoke. The investigator must ease into the investigations in the same way, trying, once natural causes have been set aside, to determine what is being dealt with and if there is any need to shield themselves (or others) from possible harmful repercussions.

An Investigator’s Role

I noted a comment from Dr. Dan H to my post about the Monster of Mud Creek a while back and have been meaning to write a post about his very considered response.

Dr. Dan says, in part:

This faerie may or may not even be sentient as we know it; it certainly was not formidable in any sense of the word. I do wonder how many of the interactions where we came off badly were either from our not knowing the unwritten rules, or just from us being big, scary, alien monsters with a habit of cornering the Otherworld of rabbits and mice. I do rather doubt that we have confronted Otherworld predators very often, if at all.

While I might feel that humans have encountered Otherworld predators more often than Dr. Dan states here, I have to agree, too, with what he says. If you back a mouse into a corner, it may fight and, if it does, you are probably going to end up with a nasty bite or two before the little guy is dispatched or escapes you. This is why I have stressed, over and over, in these pages, the idea of knowing what you are dealing with when going into one of these situations.

Now, the folks in the Mud Creek story certainly did not have a lot of time to evaluate and do diagnostics on the being that they encountered. It could have been any of a number of “critters” ranging from the very dangerous to, as Dr. Dan notes, the relatively benign. This couple likely did exactly the right thing – they stayed in their nice steel automobile and did not attempt to interact with whatever they saw on the side of that road. They drove on and talked about it later.

Sometimes, however, the episodes are not just a a one time, one sighting issue but go on for months and even years. Think of John Keel exploring the very odd world of the Mothman, for instance, or any ghost hunter who has been out on a recurrent haunting, hostile or otherwise.

Investigators of the paranormal, particularly those who are known for taking a variety of cases, may find themselves on the scene of a wild range of events. A given investigator may be looking into cattle mutilation one week and be off taking reports of giant birds or the “demon” of some locale in the next. While most of this investigation happens after the fact, and the investigator does not actually get to interact with the phenomenon, there are cases and places where those who look for the things that other people run away from get to partake in their own mysteries. Again, think of John Keel and his multiple encounters with the bizarre during the Mothman investigation.

When you find yourself “smack dab in the middle” of ForteanaLand, you can not rely on your preconceived notion of what is and is not real to guide you. Instead, you need, in my opinion, to have:

a. A good knowledge of the literature of the paranormal ranging from ESP through to anomalous occurrences of all types.
b. A good knowledge of local and world folklore particularly as it relates to the types of spirits or “monsters” you may encounter
c. Some knowledge (more is better) of the new science of the paranormal
d. A good knowledge of and practice in one of the systems of magic or psychic awareness
e. Some tools with which to establish baseline energy levels around you – these can include everything from the latest ghost hunting tech to good old fashioned dowsing rods and pendulums

All of this knowledge is bent toward a specific purpose; being able to look at phenomenon and determine what you are dealing with. As Dr. Dan so aptly put it, many of the things that come through from the Otherworld are simply out of place. They may or may not be sentient in any way that we recognize and it is entirely possible that they are so ephemeral that they can cause no real harm to a physical creature. They might frighten you (think of all those TV ghost hunters out there scaring themselves) and they might even be able to slightly effect the environment (cold spots, for example) but they can cause no lasting harm.

For most investigators, these types of occurrences are going to be the vast majority of what they deal with. They are strange, unusual and can get your adrenaline going if they startle you but they are not going to cause you any harm unless you happen to be standing on a cliff when one startles you (highly not recommended). In most of these cases, the client/witness can wait the phenomenon out and it will go away or spirit negotiation or, as a last resort, banishing can generally clear the area.

This is where having a clear idea of what you are dealing with comes in. You, as the investigator, have to be able to take information from all the above sources and determine whether what you are dealing with is dangerous. It is your job, as the person presenting themselves as an authority figure, to make that determination and to know what to do in the event that you actually do move past the common and into the uncommon area where the predators lie. If you can not do this, or are unwilling to do it, then you should leave field investigation to those who can and are willing to take responsibility.

Vampires: The Real Scoop

I have mentioned, I believe, that I derived some inspiration for this blog from John Michael Greer’s excellent book Monsters: An Investigators Guide to Magical Beings. I had already encountered many of the teachings in this book in other magical sources but Mr. Greer does an excellent job of binding things together into a cohesive book that should be on the bookshelf (or in the Kindle) of anyone with an interest in the paranormal.

The book is formed into several chapters, each of which deals with a monster of legend (although Greer’s definition of a monster throws a pretty wide net). Given that there is so much interest in vampires these days (although they seem to be falling behind zombies in popularity), I thought I might bring forth some genuine information on vampires to dispel all the dreck floating around popular culture and cyberspace. There is nothing at all sexy or appealing about this most destructive of monsters.

First though, we have to refine our terms. A vampire is a very specific type of entity. While it is true that there are spirits of varying sorts that will suck the life out of you if allowed, these are not vampires. Vampires are not living human beings of any sort, no matter how odd their predilections. I’ve known some people who certainly seemed to have a gift for sucking the energy out of a room and I understand that there are people who believe that they derive needed sustenance from the energy of others (and perhaps even their blood). As long as they are not bothering me, I tend to live and let live.

So, if a vampire is not a spirit and it is not a live human being, what in the world is it. The thing that you must understand about vampires is that they were once living, breathing people. They have died but, like some ghosts, they have not passed over. They have instead chosen to inhabit what modern magicians call the etheric body. As I have noted before, this is the energetic structure closest to the physical and basically serves as the energetic lattice upon which your physical body hangs. When the physical body ceases to function, one has experienced the First Death. When the etheric body loosens and loses coherence, normally within 24 to 48 hours, then one has experienced the Second Death. At this point, if it has not done so, what is left of the soul complex passes into the Otherworld and things become final.

What the vampire has learned to do is avoid the Second Death by constructing what Greer calls an etheric revenant. Dion Fortune in her book The Secrets of Doctor John Taverner gives a fictional but fairly accurate description of an actual vampire.

Now, the good news is that vampires are extremely rare these days, particularly here in the US. The reason for this is quite simple. The vast majority of people who die in this country are either embalmed and buried or cremated. Remember all those Egyptian mummies? Those bodies were preserved in such a way that the etheric body (which they called the ka, I believe) was able to hang around and enjoy all the funerary offerings provided by ka priests during that time. If the body of a person is embalmed or cremated then the “anchor” to which the etheric body is seeking to cling is destroyed and the etheric body begins to lose form almost immediately.

Three things have to happen in order for a vampire to be created:

1) The person who dies has to have the knowledge of how to create the etheric revenant and most likely has to have engaged in practices to strengthen and condense the etheric body before death of the physical occurs.

2) The physical body has to be treated in a manner similar to the way the Egyptians treated their dead – no embalming with harsh toxic chemicals, no cremation and protection of the body so that the etheric revenant can continue its connection with it. Think of Egyptian tombs and the mound burials of Europe.

3) Should these first two hurdles be overcome, the revenant then has to have a fresh supply of etheric energy to keep itself fed and thus a vampire is born. This quickly becomes a problem for the vampire since it has to stay fairly close to its body but it also has to seek out and ingest large amounts of etheric energy. This sort of feeding will cause severe illness in most and may even cause death in the weak constitution. Even the dim witted will eventually figure out what is going on and destroy the vampire’s body or take counter measures which prevent the vampire from feeding.

As you can imagine, given laws for disposal of bodies in this country, there are not going to be a lot of vampires running around the US. This is a good thing since our law enforcement officials tend to frown on some of the more traditional methods for dealing with a vampire’s body – cremation, decapitation, staking, Yes, the sorts of things that you see in the movies actually work for stopping a vampire since the destruction of the body destroys the anchor holding the etheric revenant on our plane.

I hope to goodness that none of my readers ever find themselves in the situation of having to deal with a vampire but, if you should suspect that an etheric revenant is haunting the area, you can remove yourself from harm’s way by the use of a combination of natural and ritual magic. The old horror movie bane of vampires, garlic, actually is an effective etheric repellent. Also, banishing rituals which establish a clear zone of protection should be of great help.

It is, of course, true that sometimes the best defense is a good offense but I do not recommend digging up bodies and cremating them, even though that is the only sure remedy for a vampire. If you have located the grave of a vampire (you might use scrying, divination, dowsing, astral or etheric projection, remote viewing), you might visit there in the daytime, drive pure iron nails into the ground all over and around the grave and leave a nice wreath of flowers with several garlic cloves interspersed to keep the revenant in the ground. Eventually, it will starve and undergo the Second Death but I suspect you would have to be diligent about the practice for a while to keep the damned thing from rising.